Smith-Taylor joins UNC women's basketball staff

Crawley heads to South Korea to play pro ball and Smith-Taylor takes her place.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Charlotte Smith-Taylor, the most decorated player in the history of the University of North Carolina women's basketball program, has joined the staff as an assistant coach, head coach Sylvia Hatchell announced today.

Smith-Taylor replaces Sylvia Crawley, also a former UNC player.

Crawley, a member of the staff for the last two seasons and a member of the WNBA's Portland Fire, will play professional basketball for Samsung Basketball Club in Seoul, South Korea.

'I'm so excited to have Charlotte on our staff,' Hatchell said. 'She adds so much because of the level she's on as a professional player and because of the love and passion she has for basketball and the University of North Carolina.'

Smith-Taylor, who played for the Tar Heels from 1992-95, is the only UNC women's basketball player to have had her jersey retired. The 6-0 forward, who wore No. 23, was named National Player of the Year by ESPN in 1995 following a career in which she scored 2,094 points (third all-time at UNC) and grabbed 1,200 rebounds (second all-time at UNC).

Smith-Taylor is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1994 NCAA Championship game, when her buzzer-beating three-pointer gave UNC the national crown with a 60-59 win over Louisiana Tech. She also had a championship-record 23 rebounds in the game and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

The Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year in 1992, Smith-Taylor earned All-ACC and ACC Tournament MVP honors in her junior and senior seasons. As a senior, she was named All-America by Kodak, the Associated Press and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. She recently was named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary team as one of the top players in conference history.

Early in her senior season, she became just the second collegiate women's player to dunk in a game when she did so against North Carolina A & T.

At the end of her collegiate career, Smith-Taylor played professionally in Italy then in the American Basketball League. She was the 33rd pick in the 1999 WNBA draft by Charlotte and has played for the Sting for four seasons. She will continue to play for the team while working at UNC.

'I'm excited about being part of a staff that has such a wealth of knowledge,' Smith-Taylor said. 'I am very confident that I can be instrumental in assisting our young ladies through my experiences as a collegiate and professional player. And I definitely look forward to winning another national championship, just in a different capacity.'

A native of Shelby, N.C., and graduate of Shelby High School, Smith-Taylor completed her UNC bachelor's degree in sociology in 1999. She changed her last name from Smith to Smith-Taylor following her wedding to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., on Sept. 14, 2002.

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